8 Jun 2007

Samoa to spend more on boosting economy through tourism

10:08 am on 8 June 2007

The Samoa government has decided to capitalize further on the current growth of tourism by allocating more funds to the industry in order to drive growth in other sectors of the economy.

A total of 3.2 million US dollars is allocated in the new financial year budget for the Tourism Authority an increase of 80 percent compared to last year

The Minister of Finance, Niko Lee Hang, says the joint venture between the government and Virgin Blue has had considerable impact on the country's tourism since it was launched in October 2005.

The first year alone saw an increase in tourism earnings and a profit of around 1 million US dollars.

The finance minister says the success is attributed to the penetration of the Australian and New Zealand markets by the national airline, Polynesian Blue, where those markets have grown by 33.2 percent and 18.8 percent respectively.

According to Lee Hang, tourism receipts will reach 1.0 billion US dollars during the life of the current tourism plan.